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万锦土地开发计划之争议
Markham divided over city council’s redevelopment plan



编者按:万锦市议会的土地再开发建议引发居民争议。万锦市民的代表组织—万民问责市府大联盟对该计划将造成的环境损害和交通拥堵等问题表示担忧。
Editor’s Note:Markham city council’s real estate redevelopment proposal has sparked controversy among the residents. MCCRG -- an organization representing Markham citizens has voiced serious concerns over the plan, from environmental damages to traffic disruptions. 
 
被万锦市Warden Ave、Major Mackenzie、Kennedy和16th Ave环绕的York Downs Golf and Country Club目前正面临再开发,按照计划当地将兴建2,400套高密度新屋以供7,400名新居民居住。两年前,一家开发商以$4.12亿元的价格将这个占地417英亩的高尔夫俱乐部纳入囊中。

York Downs Golf and Country Club, surrounded by Warden Ave, Major Mackenzie, Kennedy and 16th Ave in Markham, is being proposed for redevelopment with a high density of 2,400 new homes for 7,400 new residents. The Club with 417 acre property was sold to a developer two years ago for $412 million.

 
万民问责市府大联盟(MCCRG)则谴责市议会改变土地用途的规划流程太过草率,并于2017年4月5日在万锦市议会厅提前举行公开会议讨论该开发计划。

Markham Citizens Coalition for Responsive Government (MCCRG) takes the City Council to task on their hasty planning process to change the land usage for the property and advances a public meeting for this development application on April 5, 2017 in the Markham council chambers. 

 
在会议当晚有500多人云集市政厅。与会者明显分为两个阵营,一方反对该开发计划,另一方则看似是有组织地支持该开发计划。有39名代表做了现场议事发言,还有许多人递交了书面意见。有些人希望该开发计划即刻上马,另一些人则表示了不同程度的反对,并对其中所涉的审批流程、当地树木遭毁、地区交通流量增加、雨水收集排放能力不足以及野生动物受损等问题感到担忧。此次会议的讨论内容概述如下:

Over 500 people flooded City Hall on meeting night. There were two noticeable camps; those who were opposed to the development and those who seemed to be organized to support the development. 39 deputations were received as well as many written submissions. There were those who wanted the development to go ahead without delay and others who offered varying degrees of opposition and concerns regarding the approval process, the destruction to the trees on the property, the increased traffic in the area, the inadequate capturing of stormwaters, and  damage to wildlife. Discussions at that meeting is summarized below:

 
审批流程——根据有关该开发计划的工作人员报告,目前该计划仍在接受内部(市府)和外部(比如省级机构)审核。尽管市府的公开审批程序规定此类审核应该在公开会议召开前完成,但市议会仍然提前举行了此次会议。鉴于一些关键信息和专家意见尚未广泛公开,此举意欲何为?此外,难道当局就不可以考虑诸如降低住宅密度,提供更多公园绿地,修建更多步行道和单车道等更好的土地开发替代方案么?

Process - According to the staff report on the application, it is still going through both internal (City) and external (e.g. Provincial agencies ) reviews. Yet, despite the City's published process, which indicates that such reviews should be completed prior to a public meeting, the city is pressing ahead. Why? Critical information and expert opinion is not yet widely and publicly available. Furthermore, are there not better alternative uses for this property that should be considered, for example lower density, more parkland, more walking and bike trails etc.? 

 
树木——据树木专家报告称,当地将有大量树木会被移除,其中有1,622棵直径超过40厘米,另有2,318棵直径为20至39厘米。此举是否会对生态环境造成降温效应下降、雨水吸收率降低,碳封存能力流失以及野生动物栖息地丧失等重大危害?

Trees - The arborist report states that 1,622 trees greater than 40 cm in diameter and 2,318 trees 20-39 cm in diameter will be removed. What about the major loss of environmental capital, such as the loss of cooling, loss of storm water absorption, loss of carbon sequestration, loss of wildlife habitat, etc.? 

 
交通—— 仅是交通高峰时段增加1,343辆汽车造成的额外交通量就会令当地公路不堪重负。目前16th Ave.的交通容量已经饱和,并且约克区政府已经延迟了当地16th Ave.路段的拓宽计划。约克区现在正在寻求通过额外收入(可能是税收)支付这些道路改造费用。预期该开发计划将会导致周边主干道和交叉路口的车流量增加数千辆,而这只会令现存的交通拥堵问题雪上加霜。

Traffic - The extra traffic of 1,343 additional cars during the am peak hours alone cannot be accommodated. 16th Ave. is already at capacity, and York Region has now delayed the planned widening of 16th Ave. at this location. The region is asking for additional revenues (possibly taxes) to pay for these road improvements. The anticipated thousands of extra cars from this development, using the surrounding arterial roads and intersections, can only add to existing gridlock. 

 
交通是此次辩论的焦点之一。即便开发商的交通报告声称16th Ave.的交通容量已经饱和,但居民仍不希望该开发计划导致当地的道路数量进一步增加,从而令原本就拥挤不堪的交通变得更加拥堵。此外,他们也不想看到高高耸立的公寓大厦在16th Ave.拔地而起。接下来纳税人协会和当地居民间可能会爆发潜在冲突,而不是达成统一战线。既然市府可以轻而易举地超越其人口密度目标,那我们为何还要在该地区维持这样的密度?

Traffic is one of the main concerns in this debate. Residents do not want more roads coming out of the development to add to existing traffic congestion. Even the developer's traffic report say 16th Avenue is at capacity. They also do not want to be overlooked by a condo on 16th Avenue. We have potential conflicts among the Ratepayers Associations and residents going forward, as opposed to a united front. The City is easily going to overshoot its density targets for population anyway, so why do we need this density on this property?  

 
雨水——该开发计划中的物业所配备的雨水管似乎最多只能收集和排放五年一遇的暴风雨中的雨水径流。而在碰到百年难得一遇的更严重的暴风雨时,雨水将会直接流向街道然后进入溪流和雨水池。由于当地的地下水位很高,地下水显然会带来严重问题。即便雨水池的水位仍然低于地下水位,谁知道是不是也会有房屋的地下室位于地下水位之下呢?

Stormwater - The proposal appears to include storm sewers within the property designed to capture and convey stormwater runoff only up to a five year storm event. More major storm events, up to and above the 100 year event, will be left to flow down streets to creeks and stormwater ponds. There is a serious problem with groundwater in the area due to a very high water table. Even the stormwater ponds are below the water table. Will basements of homes be below the water table too? 

 
野生动物——目前的土地开发计划似乎还会导致两种濒危的地面筑巢鸟类以及其栖息地消失。由于开发商所做的调查并未发现这些鸟类,因此目前的信息尚不足以确定情况是否属实,以及如何才能缓解这种威胁,但是自然资源部坚称这些鸟类每到繁殖季节便会出现在当地。

Wildlife - It also appears that two threatened species of ground nesting birds and their habitat would be wiped out by the current proposal. Inadequate information exists at this time to determine if this is the case and how such a threat could be mitigated, as surveys for the developer did not find these birds, yet the Ministry of Natural Resources indicates they are there during breeding season. 

 
在支持迅速批准该土地开发计划的人中,有许多似乎都是属于一个距离当地较远的教会,他们希望在土地开发的过程中建造一个新教堂。其他人之所以支持该开发计划,则是因为他们认为自己可以“买得起”并且距离商店和公交站台只有几步之遥的公寓和镇屋等住房。他们甚至有可能就是注册在案的建筑商,但目前并没有明确证据支持这种说法。

For those who supported the rapid approval of the development, many seemed to belong to a Church a distance away and wanted to build a new church in the development. Others supported the development because they wanted condos, townhouses etc that they felt were "affordable" and within walking distance to shops and buses. They could even have come from a builders registration list, but there are no specific evidence to support that. 

 
如果想让公众真正参与这一进程,就必须让他们了解完整准确的信息,相关工作人员和顾问的意见,以及该土地开发计划所涉的现实问题的答案。

If the public is to have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in this process they must be given complete and accurate information, with associated staff and consultants' opinions, as well as answers to the very real problems that exist with this proposal.

 
在接下来的几个星期里,由市议员杨绮清领导的市议会于人村小组委员会至少会主导召开四次小组委员会会议,以讨论交通和房屋密度等具体问题。届时居民协会和Angus Glen纳税人协会也会参与其中。这些会议均对公众开放,其中首次会议将于4月24日晚6点在万锦市政厅举行,随后会议的日期尚待公布。

Over the next few weeks, there will be a minimum of four sub committee meetings on specific aspects, eg traffic, density etc to follow under the guidance of Council's Unionville Sub Committee, chaired by Councillor Collucci.Unionville Residents Association, and Angus Glen Ratepayers Association will also be involved. These meetings are open to the public and the first one will take place at Markham Civic Centre on April 24 at 6 pm. The dates of subsequent meetings are still to be announced.
 
 
 

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